NCOC eases restrictions


Indoor dinning allowed; cinema halls opened

Shujaat Hamza

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday allowed the resumption of indoor dining for vaccinated individuals, subject to 50 per cent occupancy, according to a statement issued by the body.

The decision was taken in a meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and co-chaired by National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan which reviewed the current coronavirus situation and non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in the country. The forum agreed on a number of decisions to be implemented from July 1 to 31 with a review on July 27, according to the press release.

“Indoor and outdoor dining is allowed till 11:59pm. However, indoor dining at 50pc occupancy is allowed for vaccinated individuals only,” said the press release. It added that restaurants and hotel managements would have to set up mechanisms to check vaccine certificates of visitors and also ensure vaccination of their staff.

The press released added that timings for business and commercial activities were also being extended to 10pm while essential services would continue to operate 24/7.

With regard to weddings, the forum decided that up to 400 guests would be allowed for outdoor weddings subject to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). Indoor weddings would also be allowed, according to the press release, for up to 200 vaccinated individuals.

The forum also ordered the management of wedding halls to institute mechanisms for checking vaccine certificates of attendees and ensure staff vaccinations.

“Cinemas are allowed to re-open with strict Covid protocols for vaccinated individuals only till 1am,” said the press release, adding that a similar requirement for management to ensure staff vaccination and a way to check visitors’ vaccine certificates. Shrines have also been allowed to reopen at the discretion of federating units and local administrations subject to strict adherence to Covid-19 SOPs.